Every car accident, whether it’s a fender bender at stoplight or a high-speed collision on the interstate, is unfortunate and untimely. But when it comes to severe accidents with deadly repercussions, few types of accidents are more serious than a collision with a truck. Weighing as much as 20-to-30-times as much as standard passenger vehicles, a crash involving an eighteen-wheeler or semi-truck rarely leaves people unscathed. And if you’re involved in one of these incidents, you should explore your legal rights for compensation.
The 5 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
Most people don’t have any experience with being involved in serious truck crashes. It’s not the sort of thing that happens on a regular basis. As such, it’s not something you know how to deal with. And, unfortunately, this lack of personal experience often leads people to make silly, yet costly, mistakes.
If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a truck accident, make sure you don’t get victimized twice. Learn from those who have been there before and avoid the following blunders:
- Not Getting Immediate Medical Attention
When there’s no visible bleeding or severe pain, it’s common for someone involved in a car accident to assume everything is okay and refuse immediate medical attention. But even if everything seems to be okay, you should always get evaluated by a doctor. Some injuries don’t appear right away. Other injuries can be masked by adrenaline – meaning they won’t manifest themselves until a few hours (or even days) later. Any delay in medical care could (a) lower your chances of reaching a full recovery, and/or (b) weaken a potential insurance claim or lawsuit.
- Failing to Gather Evidence
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the police will record all valuable information inside their official police report. While they should get the basics, there’s plenty that they may miss.
If physically able to do so, gather as much evidence as you can at the scene of the crime. It’s also helpful to record – either via writing or through an audio recording – as much information as you remember before, during, and after the crash. It’s common for memories to fade after a few hours, days, or weeks. Don’t let valuable facts disappear before you’re able to use them.
- Assuming There’s No Legal Recourse
If you don’t have much experience with insurance and laws regarding car crashes, you may assume that an accident is just that…an accident. And if you believe this, you may also believe that you caught a bad break and you’re out of luck. However, there are laws in place to protect your best interests. Never assume that there’s no legal recourse!
“If a truck driver causes your crash based on this type of negligent or reckless driving, the trucking company can be held liable – legally responsible – for the physical, emotional and financial harm you and your family have suffered,” Tate Law Offices explains.
Always assume that you have some degree of legal recourse. This provides space to explore all of your options.
- Accepting a Quick Settlement Offer
The insurance company knows that truck accidents can lead to serious claims. In order to prevent these cases from being too costly, they’ll offer quick and enticing settlements to victims. Don’t make the mistake of accepting one of these offers!
Generally speaking, an insurance company’s first offer will represent just a fraction of what they believe they owe you. If you accept, they win. Listen to what they have to say, but don’t accept. You have the ability to negotiate a higher figure.
- Admitting Fault
It’s human nature to apologize for a bad situation, even if you know you aren’t the one to blame. There’s something about saying sorry that feels sympathetic and right. But in a serious situation like a truck accident, anything you say can be misconstrued as a verbal admission of guilt. It’s best to avoid this by remaining silent and letting your lawyer do all of the talking.
Don’t Take Any Chances
A truck accident – or any car crash, for that matter – is a serious ordeal with major ramifications. From your personal health to your personal finances, you don’t want to take any chances. Use the mistakes outlined in this article as a warning against the follies of assuming you know best. Hire a good lawyer and let your legal team represent your best interests. Not only does this increase your chances of obtaining maximum compensation, but it also allows you to focus on the one thing that matters most: reaching a full recovery.